Tag Archives: Charlotte School of Law

Top Five Tips for Appropriate Email Etiquette from CSL’s Center for Professional Development

By Aithyni K. Rucker, Esq.

In this digital age, communication has become more informal and we communicate in 140 characters or less.  However, even electronic communication must remain professional, timely, and audience appropriate.

Everyone has received an email where you really want to just throw your keyboard, pick up your laptop and call it a day.  To cut down on those visceral responses, here are five quick tips toward effective digital communication.

1. Everyone is a Professional and Deserves a Professional Greeting -Every email communication should begin with a formal greeting, i.e. “Dear Ms. or Dear Mr.”  Avoid the Twitter/Facebook trap of addressing your email without a salutation.  Keep in mind you are not friends with your addressee until they say so. Follow the below email trail as an example:

Email 1(you) Dear Ms. Jones: Email 2(employer response) Dear Jim:  Email 3( your reply) Dear Lisa:

In the above example, I changed the tone of our correspondence and allowed for the use of first names.  Never start an email with “Hey, Wassup, Good Morning, (or worst of all, no salutation whatsoever)”. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and keep your salutations formal.  A good Mr. or Ms. can take you a long way.

2. Your Tone Dictates the Effectiveness of Your Message -we all know the clear email rule of never write in all caps.  However, everyone forgets the age old rule about polite correspondence.  We’ve all sent an email when upset, in a hurry, or in need of a quick response.  But remember, “Your Fire is not someone else’s emergency.” Be courteous with your key strokes.  Take a minute, walk away, and read your message back before you hit send.  If it sounds snarky, it likely is.  I can’t think of anyone who wants to be on the receiving end of a snarky message.  Also, remember that emails last forever, and you can’t take you message back once you hit send.

3. Check Punctuation and Message Length - Please remember emails are letters.  They aren’t text messages and they deserve good punctuation.  Make sure to use appropriate periods, commas, and the like within your communication.  Also, email isn’t the time to write a novel.  Keep your message brief, direct, and to the point.

4. Give the Recipient Time to Respond - Proper turnaround time for email response runs about 48-72 hours. More than likely, your message isn’t the only one requiring a response.  Give your recipient time to handle your request and respond timely.  Jumping the gun might offend your recipient and ruin your repoire. If you deem your email urgent and you don’t receive a timely response, consider placing a telephone call. Remember to always be gracious when following up with an unresponsive recipient.

5.  Check Your Own Email and Respond – Remember, what goes around comes around! (Don’t live in  a glass house, see rule 4)  As a lawyer in training, it is important to get used to receiving and managing numerous emails in one day. When you begin practicing, the commonly-heard refrain “I receive too many emails!” will not suffice.  An unanswered email can lead to malpractice, a lost client, or a missed opportunity.  Get in the habit of answering emails timely, checking your email regularly and cleaning out any unread messages.  An easy rule of thumb is to mark any message unread where a response is pending.

Any questions?

 ~Center for Professional Development~

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Filed under Careers, Center for Professional Development, Of Interest to Law Students, Student Information

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

On Friday, October 31st, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will hold an argument session at Charlotte School of Law. Three arguments will be heard by the court, with each case taking about 40 minutes. After the final case, the panel will entertain questions from the audience (other than about the cases). Case summaries will be posted after October 23th. Case briefs can be accessed in WestLaw or below.

We welcome students, staff, faculty, and the community to register for and attend this session. Due to limited space, we are asking all attendees to register and access to the courtroom will be first-come, first-served. The argument session will be broadcast to additional rooms within Charlotte School of Law, as needed based on registration. We ask that anyone who cannot attend the entire session, please view the proceedings from one of the overflow rooms, so as not to disturb the court. Entering or exiting during an argument session will not be permitted.

Attire should be consistent with what would be worn to an official proceeding at the courthouse, cell phones are not permitted in the courtroom and audio/video recording is not permitted in the courtroom.

Charlotte School of Law is located in the Charlotte Plaza building at 201 South College Street. Parking is available in the lot adjacent to Charlotte Plaza or you can search for nearby parking lots with www.aboutparking.com/charlotte.

Please submit your registration through the following: Registration link

Case Summaries completed by writing competition winner CSL 2L Stacey Cargile:
13-2219 Case Summary; Case Brief
14-4288 Case Summary; Case Brief
13-4803 Case Summary; Case Brief

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where is Charlotte School of Law located?

CSL is located in the Charlotte Plaza building at 201 South College Street. You can park in the lot adjacent to the building (accessible from 3rd or 4th street). From the 6th floor of the adjacent parking garage, you’ll enter the Mall level of the Charlotte Plaza building. If you park elsewhere, you’ll want to enter the building at the ground level and take the escalators to the Mall level. Next to the Sundries shop on the Mall level, you’ll find the CSL Welcome Center where Student Ambassadors will be waiting to assist you and where you can get tickets for courtroom viewing.

Can I get my parking ticket validated?

Parking validation is only being provided for Court Staff (Judges, Deputy, law clerks)

Where can I find a case summary or case brief?

Links to Case summaries (written by Stacey Cargile) and Case briefs are located above

I have to leave early or come late to the proceedings, is that ok?

Exiting and entering during one of the three argument sessions is not permitted in the courtroom nor one of the viewing rooms. Although you may exit and enter during the break between sessions, we ask that you watch the proceedings from a viewing room, rather than the courtroom if you cannot stay the entire time.

Is there WiFi access at CSL?

Since use of electronic devices is not permitted in the courtroom or the viewing rooms, guest WiFi access will not be provided.

How can I participate in the Judges Q&A if I’m in a viewing room rather than the courtroom?

Student Ambassadors or CSL Staff will be stationed in each viewing room to solicit questions and communicate those questions to CSL Staff in the courtroom.

Upcoming Events 

Title Organization Date/Time
Arguments Session: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Dean’s Office 10/31/14

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Filed under Events, General Charlotte School of Law Information, Local Points of Interest and Events, Of Interest to Law Students, Student Information

Alumni Spotlight: Legal Aid Client Thanks Her “Dream Team”

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“From the bottom of my heart I thank you all” : Legal Aid client thanks her “Dream Team”

Attorneys in our Charlotte office recently received some sincere thanks and high praise from a client for whom they went to extraordinary lengths to help escape from an unhealthy housing situation.

Our client and her daughters were desperate to get out of their apartment, which was infested with black mold, but they didn’t know how to leave without losing their much-needed security deposit.

“I was at a very bad place when I came to Legal Aid,” wrote our client in an email, “but not one time was I not greeted with compassion. I was teamed up with a very firm but compassionate attorney named Shannon Pearce. She was very supportive and always a phone call or email away.”

Shannon, a Charlotte School of Law Fellow, helped our client and her daughters get out of the mold-infested apartment with her security deposit in hand.

But there was still a problem. Our client didn’t have the money to rent a moving truck or hire movers, and didn’t know anyone who’d volunteer to lend a hand.

Going above and beyond the call of duty, Shannon convinced the U-Haul truck rental corporation to give our client a certificate for a free moving truck. Now what about movers?

“I tear up as I write this,” said our client. “All of a sudden during moving day, Shannon had a moving crew!”

Shannon, joined by fellow attorneys Shanae Auguste, who is also a Charlotte School of Law Fellow, and Isaac Sturgill, threw on some old clothes and showed up to serve as our client’s volunteer moving crew!


Legal Aid attorneys Shanae Auguste (left), Shannon Pearce (second from left) and Isaac Sturgill stand in front of the donated U-Haul truck they used to help our client (holding sign) move out of her mold-infested apartment.

“I could not believe they had selflessly taken time out of their day to help me,” wrote our client. “And man are they strong, especially Isaac. I call them the Three Musketeers ‘cause they put any moving company to shame.”

“I’m forever grateful to the young attorneys,” she wrote. “So from the bottom of my heart I thank you all, especially the Dream Team: Shannon, Shanae and Isaac.”

This article is shared with permission from Legal Aid of North Carolina.

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Filed under Alumni Spotlight, Careers

Staff Spotlight

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Aithyni Rucker, the CPD’s Diversity Career Opportunity Coordinator, was published in this month’s NALP bulletin.  Her article is entitled The Diversity Professional: Getting Your CSO in the Game Through Creative Programming and Outreach.  She co-authored the article with Jenia Bacote, Assistant Director for Career Communications at Mercer University.

Congratulations, Aithyni, on this accomplishment!

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Charlotte School of Law Welcomes 10 Master of Laws (LL.M.) in American Legal Studies Students

The LLM in American Legal Studies program is offered to foreign trained attorneys and is a one-year, 24 credit hour program that provides students with the opportunity to pursue a flexible course of study tailored to their interests, or to complete the coursework required to be eligible to sit for the New York Bar Exam. Both options provide students with significant legal training and a strong understanding of U.S. law.


For the Fall 2014 class, Charlotte Law welcomed 10 students representing India, Colombia, Peru, Lithuania, Jamaica, Romania, and Germany. Several full and partial tuition scholarship opportunities to qualified applicants will continue to be offered through the LL.M. Ambassador Scholarship program. In order to be eligible for consideration, a prospective student must simply submit his application for the LL.M program. To apply please visit LSAC at www.lsac.org. For these significant scholarship opportunities, highly qualified candidates are chosen who possess the following characteristics:

  • Qualifying first foreign degree in law;
  • High academic achievement;
  • Demonstrated capacity for leadership and teamwork;
  • Superior personal awareness;
  • Ability to contribute to the practice, development and study of law;
  • Commitment to service;
  • Contribution to a globally diverse student population;
  • Ability to master legal studies in English; and
  • Willingness to serve as an LL.M. alumni leader and ambassador for CSL.

We are still accepting applications for our Spring 2015 class beginning in January. There is no application fee for first-time applicants and no fee waiver code is needed when you apply online through the LSAC website.

More information about the one-year, 24-credit LL.M. program and the LL.M. Ambassador Scholarship can be found at www.charlottelaw.edu/llm. No additional application is required to be considered for any of Charlotte School of Law’s LL.M. scholarships, including the LL.M. Ambassador Scholarship.

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Filed under General Charlotte School of Law Information, Student Information

Photo Gallery: Celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day at the Charlotte Law Library

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by | October 14, 2014 · 8:00 am

CSL Spotlight: Enhancing Learning Outcomes


CSL is leading the higher education industry in enhancing learning outcomes and raising standards for experiential learning to prepare our students to be practice-ready.

Below is a front page article in North Carolina Lawyers Weekly about the recent change to ABA Standard 303(a) which now requires students to take 6 credits of experiential learning courses, and features interviews with Charlotte School of Law Deans Camille Davidson, Kama Pierce, and Carlos Pauling.

Law schools are sizing up recent changes to American Bar Association accreditation standards

Recent changes to the American Bar Association’s law school accreditation rules should mean minor adjustments for most of North Carolina’s law schools, if first impressions of several school leaders are correct. On Aug. 11 in Boston — after six years of comprehensive review — …

Read more: http://nclawyersweekly.com/2014/09/02/new-rules-for-schools-2/#ixzz3FYWViEot

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Filed under General Charlotte School of Law Information, Of Interest to Law Students